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Monday, February 8, 2016

2016 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT DEBATE: ADAM JONES/MOOKIE BETTS

Time for another 2016 fantasy baseball Draft Debate and this time we look to the near-top of the outfield heap and compare two guys who are virtually being selected on top of one another in drafts.  Both Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones and his Boston Red Sox counterpart Mookie Betts have seen their names called in Round 2 in early drafts and both are very comparable in their overall impact.  As always let's compare the two using the five standard ROTO categories to see who should be selected ahead of the other.

RUNS:  This one was no contest last season as Betts scored 92 runs compared to Jones' 74.  It has now been two full seasons since Jones crossed the plate 100 times and Betts could very well challenge that mark in 2016. 
ADVANTAGE:  Mookie Betts

HOME RUNS:  While Betts has very solid power and room for growth, Jones wins this category handily.  Jones has hit 27 or more home runs each of the last four seasons, while a good year for Betts in that area would be around 20-22. 
ADVANTAGE:  Adam Jones

RBI:  Going closely along with the home runs are the RBI which gives Jones the nod.  Yes Jones drove in only 5 more RBI than Betts last season but the massive development of Manny Machado in front of him in the order should keep the Baltimore outfielder on top in this category.  Now Betts is capable of going 80-plus himself in RBI in 2016 but Jones has gone over 90 in two of the last three years which again gives him the nod.
ADVANTAGE:  Adam Jones

AVERAGE:  Jones is as easy to predict as any hitter in fantasy baseball when it comes to his batting average, falling between .277 and .287 for six years running before a .269 last season.  Betts meanwhile has hit exactly .291 each of his first two MLB campaigns and has the approach and high contact rate to be a perennial .300 guy. 
ADVANTAGE:  Mookie Betts

STOLEN BASES:  After swiping only 2 bags in 2015, it looks like Adam Jones has reached the end of the line in terms of his once 15-steal contribution in that category.  Meanwhile Betts has tremendous speed and stole 21 bags last season and could get himself above 25 in 2016. 
ADVANTAGE:  Mookie Betts

WINNER:  Mookie Betts

I have to admit my knee-jerk reaction before comparing the two would be to go with Jones over Betts due to his long track record of dependability but the fact of the matter is that Betts is the better buy.  Betts is still on the upswing in his career while Jones might have peaked in 2014.  Betts could even do better this season while Jones takes a slight step back yet again.  Jones is still a tremendous player but Betts looks like a guy who could be an absolute star.  Betts is the way to go. 


 

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